Judas Iscariot is known in Scripture as the traitor. The various possible renderings of this verse also allow the meaning that he became a traitor. The root of the name Judas can be traced to another name, Jude, which means “to praise”.

Saints, when praise is perverted you are left with a “Judas”. In one sense this betrayal of our Lord occurs when self-glorification is the object of praise. You see, whenever we emphasize anything or anyone above Jesus Christ, whether it be in the worship portion of our services or in anything else we do, we are following in the footsteps of Judas. Jesus Christ is to have the preeminence in all things for He alone is worthy.

Now, we must remember that Spirit-filled skillfulness is one way of offering up praise to our King, who, Scripture tells us, is enthroned in our praises. Thus, we understand that true worship and Christ-honoring music is an important element in our lives. God commands and deserves our praises. However, when praise becomes a talent show, “Look at me!”, “look at us!”, “Listen to this (or that)!” — then we’ve entered into a spiritual “DANGER ZONE”. Satan just couldn’t handle the fact that, even with all of his beauty and talent, it was God who got all of the praises. Praising self or self-promotion is the pits; it’s nothing but vainglory. Saints, you don’t want to go there!

It bears repeating that God alone is to be the Object of our praise. When we allow our flesh to slither its way into the garden of holy worship, we are traitors. Another Judas-like characteristic is the refusal to be seen or heard praising Jesus publicly. That too is pride.

Saints, we’re not only to praise the Lord individually, but we’re commanded to do so collectively as well. Praising God is a result of being Spirit-filled, and is our eternal destiny. Let us never rob Jesus of the praise that He deserves from us with irreverent, ungodly attitudes or lifestyles because to pervert praise is to be like Judas.